Written for CuriousWombat and Surgical Steel for their birthdays. Thanks to RiverOtter for the beta!
Fabric had been brought to the camp in Ithilien, including some work from Belestor’s own tailor shop in the First Circle. As he remembered and had instructed the messengers, all that was found in his second workroom had been brought to him, and that included the clothing he had been working on for his own son and his two nephews, shirts and trews, small clothes and surcoats, intended for the three youths to take with them when they left the city in the following fall to visit for a year with their grandsire in Dol Amroth.
His brother had laughed when told that Belestor had already begun sewing garments for that time. “As fast as they grow, they will be beyond such clothing ere they leave Minas Tirith!” he’d exclaimed.
Belestor had snorted in reply. “Do not think I take no care for that,” he’d answered. “I know the ways of growing boys well enough!”
But then had come the word that the Enemy was on the march, and the boys were sent off even as winter gave over to spring, with sufficient fabric and money that hopefully their grandfather could see them properly clothed as needed when the time came. There had been no time to finish aught he’d been working upon.
But now it was no longer work for naught, he reflected as he lifted two completed sleeves and considered as to whether or not they would be long enough. He brought out his knotted string and the measurements he’d made, and compared them to the notes, his brow furrowed in thought. Then his frown smoothed and he smiled. They would do!
He found his thread and three steel needles in their bone case, needles long treasured by his own grandfather, from whom he’d learned his trade. “’Tis said that they came from the Elves who lived betimes in Edhellond,” the old Man had told him. “They are said to have come perhaps from the Blessed Realm itself, the work of a Noldor smith. Surely my own father and his before him treasured them, for they told me that all that was sewn with them proved true and comely, becoming well those who wore them. They will be yours one day, if you truly intend to follow our family craft.”
And his they were, brought by him when he followed the Lady Finduilas to the White City. Long had he sewn garments for the use of her sons and husband from the comfort of his workrooms in the First Circle. And her shroud, he thought, sobering once more as he began piecing together the tunic to which the sleeves belonged. He had grieved so when she’d left the Bounds of Arda, and prayed she watched over her still living son, there in the Houses of Healing.
Her sons were far too tall for such garments as these, he knew, but now they would serve a nobler purpose than had been intended. Carefully he sewed, keeping his stitches properly fine and even for the needs of the ones for whom they were now intended. Others from the camp of the Men of the City began to gather, watching with interest and pride as Belestor carefully prepared these for the use of the Ringbearers, for the day on which they would, hopefully, awaken again to receive the honor of the Army of the West.